Sunset In Hunstanton
This week, back to fiction. I thought I’d share a portion of a short story/novella I’m working on. Enjoy
There’s nothing quite like an English summer. That summer on the north Norfolk coast was the best summer of all. It had been warm—almost hot—and the crowds had flocked to the broad beaches of the old seaside town as if it were a tropical resort. The salt air carried the fragrance of fresh fish-and-chip dinners to every nook of the town; the aroma of cider vinegar, mixed with the scent of coconut tanning spray, seemed ever-present…as if the town itself wore a perfume.
Connor knew that, when the sun set over The Wash, she would be home in less than half an hour. The drive north from Kings Lynn to Hunstanton was quick at this time of day. He stepped in from the porch, leaving the door open enough to let the evening breeze waft through the small cottage. The sea was quiet this evening.
He had taken a little more care in dressing this evening. His distinct style was still there. The faded Levi’s 501’s and untucked, white, cotton shirt with button-down collar showed off his tan, and his golden-brown brogues added to the classic, but comfortable, look. Connor’s hair had, in recent years, caused people to call him a “silver fox,” but he was uncomfortable with the term; maybe the light red had turned grey, but there were still tinges of blonde left. He wanted tonight to be right, so his look had to capture her attention but, if the carefully crafted look didn’t, he knew that his piercing blue eyes would.
Was tonight a special occasion? No, he would say to Morag, it wasn’t. “Just a celebration of my love for you” he had rehearsed in his head. Connor hoped that it wouldn’t sound like a cliché when he would say it out loud. After all, it was an honest emotion.
Connor and Morag had met five years ago at an advertising agency in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. She was a Graphic Designer and Creative Director. Connor had been hired as a Copywriter and Brand Strategist. There had been an immediate connection, from the moment his blue eyes met her wild green eyes. They had both known they were in love from the moment they had collaborated on their first project together—a national chain of stores selling plus-sized womens’ clothing.
Their wedding had happened once that first project had been delivered to the client. The project was delivered on a Friday morning in early July. That afternoon, Connor and Morag went to the Peterborough Registry Office and became "Mr. and Mrs. Wallace-McDonald.” The double-barreled surname, in their minds, told the world that they were an equal pairing; partners in name and life.
Connor and Morag Wallace-McDonald had worked in the same office for another three years before they decided that they would start their own agency in Kings Lynn. In less than a year the agency had become a success, allowing the couple to spend less time in the office…letting their small staff handle most things.
Today, Friday, Morag had spent the day in the Kings Lynn office, overseeing the final details for a complete store rebrand that the agency had been working on. Connor knew she would be happy when she returned to their cottage. The project had gone well and was ready for launch on Monday morning.
Tonight, in the warm glow of a Norfolk sunset, they would celebrate. Their sexual appetite now was even greater than that when they had first made love. With their added free time, Connor and Morag were having sex at least twice a day. Sometimes their sessions were long, gentle, and tender. Other times, they were short, rigorous f*cks in different parts of the home they shared. The kitchen center island, bathroom, front-room floor, front porch and other areas of the home were locations of their frequent sexual encounters.
There, in the silence, Connor heard her car tires on the pebble-stone of their driveway. His pulse rate increased as he listened to her walk from the car to the back door. The knob turned and Morag entered. Her long fingers eased the door shut and she came to him. “I want you,” she mouthed as she took the two steps toward him. He grabbed her long red hair and pulled her head back slightly. “Me too,” head said before they fell into a long, deep kiss. Their lips pulled apart, and Connor reminded her of their dinner reservations at the local gastro pub. “Give me five minutes to freshen up and change into something more…comfortable,” she said, teasingly.
Connor and Morag left their home hand-in-hand (as they almost always were), and walked the short distance to the village pub. They liked the pub, The Red Lion, for many reasons: the culinary stylings of the resident chef, who created traditional British food with a modern flare—which was at least as good as any of the finer London restaurants; the curated wine list which offered several of the couple’s favourites; and secluded seating and long, delicately woven table-cloths over the tables.
Connor opened the door into The Red Lion and, as was his habit, let Morag step into the room first. The pub’s Cordon Bleu chef (who as also the publican) greeted the couple with a hearty, “Bienvenue mes amis.”
“Give it a rest, mate” Connor told him. “You may be a Cordon Bleu chef, but we all know you’re from Essex.”
“Mais oui,’ replied the publican. “I know it you c*nt. I’ll always be David Jones from bloody Chelmsford. Take a f*cking seat you two. What are you drinking?”
“We’re in the mood for a Bordeaux tonight, David.” Morag told him with her light Edinburgh accent. “Bring us something special. We’re celebrating.”
“As bloody usual,” replied David, as he made his way to the wine cellar.
It had become a routine, but a pleasant one. One of the couple would ask, “What are we celebrating?” And the other would reply, “Us. Just us.” Tonight, as Connor asked the question, he looked at his wife, as if through new eyes and wondered to himself, “Just how did I get this f*cking lucky? She just gets better every day.” He took in all of her; her beautiful tanned legs, to the light floral linen dress she wore, to the curls of her flaming red hair. The dress was his favourite—in fact, he often got an instant erection when he saw Morag wearing it. It was virtually see-through, and on their romantic nights out, Morag never wore underwear. Connor could imagine her nipples rubbing against the fabric and the square of hair just above her p*ssy. David returned after they had chosen their table, corkscrew in hand, pouring a proper amount of wine into each of the two classes. “Give us some time to settle in before we order, mate.” Connor said. Almost immediately, Morag added, “We both want to eat, but we want to consider the possibilities, right C?”
“The lady speaks the truth,” Connor said to no one in particular. “And we both have a huge appetite.” Although not crowded, there were four or five occupied tables at The Red Lion. Connor and Morag sipped their wine and stared into each others’ eyes like they were on their first date. In fact, that looked hadn’t changed since their first date. If anything, their mutual looks of affection had only increased in passion. This was a couple that, much like the wine they sipped, had only become better with time. They were intensely in love with each other. It truly was a love of no limits.
“So C…what looks good?” Morag called Connor “C.” To everyone else, he was “Connor,” or “Mr. Wallace-McDonald.” The latter double-barrelled option, although it looked great on a business card, was admittedly a mouthful to say. Given the two options, he would always remind people to “just call me Connor.” It would also be something with which he would admonish those who assumed they could call him “Con.” “I hate being called that. Just call me Connor.”